DISPOSAL AT THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM
A talk by Ellie Simes
To see the slides for the talk, please click here.
Disadvantages of an Inconsitent approach to Waste disposal
Leads to bad practice with item disposal
Items that are disposed are often perfectly usable
Not good in terms of procurement
Disposal was previously down to individual departments at the NHM
There was no universal way to get rid of waste
Often poses a legal/reputation risk when disposing of waste in a disorganized fashion
Benefits of a consistent approach
Increase useful life of objects
Protection of Museum heritage
Transparent and auditable records
Reduced costs and maximised income generation
More efficient decision making for staff
Efficient use of storage space (on and off site)
Potential disposal routes
Museums and galleries
Deciding on a disposal route
Is the item safe and functional?
Is the item useful to any other Museum department?
Does the item have heritage importance?
Does the item have a resale or scrap value?
Is there specific waste legislation dictating the disposal method of the item?
How quickly must the item be disposed of?
The first steps
Developed flow chart to guide decisions
Appointed responsible decision makers
Established relationships with auction houses, architectural salvage companies, reuse networks, etc
Created central records and income centre
Increased communications and working with colleagues
Promoted reuse within the Museum